The 5G market here in the Middle East and North Africa is ripe. The recent lockdown and work-from-home measures initiated as a direct result of the pandemic has only led to a greater push for the rollout of 5G, especially among business executives who have had to reconfigure their handheld devices into mobile workstations.
A recent telecommunication report revealed that by 2025, the MENA region is expected to account for 80 million 5G subscriptions or nearly 10 per cent of all mobile subscriptions.
For mobile phone companies not to enter the 5G market would be a grave miscalculation. Leading technology company OPPO hasn’t let the opportunity slide by.
On June 18, it launched its latest flagship device – the OPPO Find X2 Pro 5G – in the UAE in partnership with telecom operator Etisalat, and we managed to go hands-on with the new device ahead of its launch.
Straight out of the box, you’ll notice that the phone sits absolutely snug within your palm without feeling unbalanced either at the top or at the bottom and, importantly, it can be comfortably operated using just one hand (that it weighs less than 220grams is an added advantage).
Powering it up, it’s hard to understate how striking the 6.7-inch Ultra Vision screen really is – OPPO says that it can display over a billion colours and has a contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1.
The 3k QHD screen with a 120Hz refresh rate (for comparison, there are several devices out in the market now with 60Hz refresh rate) offers a vivid display, and even at around 25 per cent of its full brightness, we could still see the colours pop.
Borderless design with a fingerprint sensor under the Gorilla 6 glass ensures that images receive maximum play on the screen, and while they do curve down the edges on the sides, it doesn’t require you to turn your phone on its side to view those corner details.
The software that the device runs on is OPPO’s ColorOS. However, the ColorOS 7.1 is worked on top of Google’s Android 10.1 which means that it isn’t an experimental version, but has all the features that a regular android device offers with a few customization options around the colour display. With a familiar Android layout, there aren’t any steep learning curve or software navigation glitches that original OS systems otherwise throw up with non-Android and non-iOS platforms.
Begin to download a few apps from the Google Play Store on this phone, and you’ll see the dual-mode 5G engine powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor (OPPO launched its first Qualcomm-powered 5G device in the GCC a year ago) which allows for download speeds of up to 5.9Gbps begin to shine through with a considerable amount of firepower.
One of the apps we downloaded was the Shahid app that features a host of on-demand videos. Without signing up for the service, we could play a few videos which allowed us to gauge the display quality, sound and loading response time (while we left other apps running in the background). A dual-sound speaker with Dolby Atmos technology means that the sound is crisp, though even at full volume the sound doesn’t jar. A major bonus here is that you’ll find a physical button to control the volume on this device.
The Find X2 Pro features a massive 4,260mAh battery which allowed us to operate the phone without any battery anxiety and the full use of apps for video streaming, basic gaming and functions like emailing and calls for the entire day.
But plug it in and the 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 charging technology is incredibly powerful – we charged the device from 20 per cent up to 52 per cent in seven minutes flat – leaving us to believe that OPPO’s claims of the device charging from empty to 100 per cent in less than 38 minutes isn’t hollow marketing spiel.
At the rear of the Find X2 Pro (the ceramic rear surface surprisingly isn’t a fingerprint magnet) you’ll find a 48mp primary camera, a 48mp ultra-wide-angle camera and a 13mp telephoto lens. As with other recent OPPO devices, the Pro Expert mode allows you to manually adjust features like the ISO, shutter speed, white balance and the autofocus.
The 48mp primary camera features a Sony IMX689 sensor, and is among the largest you will find in a 48mp smartphone camera. The periscope telephoto camera offers a 10X hybrid zoom and 60x digital zoom. It would be unfair to compare this device with other OPPO devices like the Reno3 Pro which has a class-leading camera – or rather six of them – but the Find X2 camera can hold its own too.
In regular photo mode, we chose the AI Dazzle Color feature that uses AI to automatically detect whether a photograph is being taken indoors or outdoors, or under artificial/low-light conditions, and adjusts the colours, brightness and tones. It even automatically chooses macro mode if the object is close to the camera.
Upfront the 32mp camera captures a reasonably wide frame with in-built vanity-boosting beauty features that again uses AI tech to alter the features of your face. Thoughtfully, that camera has been pushed to the left corner of the screen. When you’re operating the phone, you get a view of that brilliant screen that’s uninterrupted with the ungainly sight of a camera hole mounted in the centre of the screen.
When it’s time to wind down, the phone features an OPPO Relax app that allows you to focus on breathing exercises and plays a pre-set list of soothing tones such as Nighttime Camping with the sounds of crickets chirping and the rustling of firewood, or Summer Seashore with views and sounds of waves breaking across the shore and seagulls squawking in the background. It reminds you of a pre-pandemic time when moving freely outdoors was a given, not a privilege.
In a world that has turned on its head, and requires a different set of tools to cope – including tech tools – this 5G device rises to the occasion.
The 512GB variant is priced at Dhs4,999. It can be purchased with flexible Smart Pay plans on a 12, 18, or 24-month contract starting from only Dhs207 in Etisalat stores across the UAE, and on oppo.com